Captivating food enthusiasts from around the globe, Cape Town-based, Fyn restaurant has landed the 60th spot on the extended list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

By Arielle Katombela

Founder and Chef Patron of the establishment, Peter Tempelhoff, has an innovative culinary approach that has garnered multiple awards and international recognition for Fyn. He shares what makes the restaurant so acclaimed, the culinary trends on his radar and the one meal he’d be open to eating consistently for a year!

Peter Tempelhoff

Take us through your thoughts and reactions when you received news that you and your team had once again made it onto The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list.

It was an incredible moment, an awesome feeling… being recognized like this by such a prestigious awards platform is the gold standard of restaurant awards. There was an immediate feeling of wanting to celebrate big!

What sets FYN apart?

Apart from blending refined Japanese techniques & nuances with African ingredients & food stories, I’d say it must be the people who have all played a role in the conception and operation of FYN. We are so lucky to have such great craftsmen & women, suppliers, farmers, foragers, fishermen, hunters, thinkers, and designers on our team, not to mention all the chefs, waiters, managers, and all the other talented people I love working with daily.

What ignited your inclination towards Japanese-style cuisine?

I just love the umami, the cleanness of the cuisine, the styling of the food is also phenomenal but in particular, I am continually amazed at how the chefs extract so many different flavors from the same ingredients by only changing the quantities.

What are the latest gourmet trends that foodies should look out for?

Japanese is suddenly huge here, and so is craft Napoletana Pizza. Hyper-local eating and drinking are really desired by traveling foodies. Saké is taking off globally, watch this space! There is also a shift towards kefirs over kombuchas and super-soured bread made with local wheat. Fermentation!

How do you balance culinary trends with your signature style?

I don’t follow trends too much; I just evolve my food and menus to what I think I would like to eat at that time and what I would like to taste in the future. I also get bored very quickly and if I change my food to avoid this boredom, I am certain that guests will find it interesting and will taste something new.

Which flavours and ingredients are the essence of South African flavour in your culinary perspective?

Rooibos, rose pelargonium, mealie pap made with water, coriander on meat, buchu, kingklip, smoked mussels, Kei apple, big num nums, sour figs & dune spinach

What are your dreams and hopes for FYN?

That we grow as a company that is able to support more people and families than we do now. Also to remain a restaurant that is able to train more young chefs and servers to want to enter the industry, not scare them out of it- without the new generation constantly entering our working environment, we will never see any of our dreams realized.

If you could indulge in only one dish for an entire year, what would it be?

Great free-range, well-aged South African sirloin steak. My cousin and a few other people I know went on the lion diet and it did wonders for them- that’s steak, salt, and water- only. I feel if it had to be one food for a month, it should be something that I love but also that can keep me strong! Plus… you can’t beat our beef!

Which country would you love to visit for a food tour experience and why?

I am dying to get to Chile, we have remarkably similar ingredients in our country, and I’d love to see what a chef like Rodolfo Guzman (Borago) is doing with them. Peru would be visited straight after Chile on the same trip, another mecca of incredibly diverse wild edible ingredients.

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